Wednesday 21st July, 2010
Speaker Herminie addresses IPU Speaker’s Conference
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Patrick Herminie is currently attending the 3rd World Conference of Speakers at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, hosted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the IPU, and attended by 170 Speakers of Parliaments from all over the world. The conference was officially opened by the Secretary-General of the UN, His Excellency Mr. Ban-Ki- Moon.
Addressing the conference, the theme of which is “Parliaments in a world of crisis: Securing democratic accountability for the common good”, the highlight of the Speaker’s address was the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean. The Speaker informed the Conference that he was particularly pleased to note that in the draft declaration, piracy has been identified as a threat to global security and democratic accountability.
The Speaker underscored the various problems faced by Seychelles as a direct result of piracy in the Indian Ocean, pointing out the consequential loss in employment, tourism and fisheries earnings. Unless contained, piracy can even undermine the attainment of the millennium development goals.
Calling upon the international community to take drastic actions against piracy, Hon. Dr. Herminie described piracy as an affront to human dignity. The Speaker further elaborated, that the whole world in one way or another is being affected by this scourge, reminding the conference that citizens of many countries have already been held hostage by the pirates in Somalia. Whilst congratulating the various stakeholders including the European Union, Russia, China as well as Japan and South Korea in helping Seychelles provide a robust response to the threat of piracy, the Speaker warned that the pirates remain audacious and are now extending their criminal activities well beyond their traditional area of operation.
Condemning piracy as a gross violation of the basic principles of democracy which are the rule of law and respect for human rights, the Speaker cautioned that piracy is now financially fuelling terrorism and reminded the conference that the recent terrorist attack in Uganda purportedly carried out by Al-Shabab, a Somali militant group, is the clearest indication yet of the magnitude of the threat of piracy to global democratic accountability for the common good.
The Speaker further urged his colleagues to be proactive in initiating legislation in their respective countries to effectively combat piracy, giving as example the recent amendments to our Penal Code which allow the state to prosecute piracy even when committed outside of our territory.
The Speaker also briefed the conference on the importance of the ‘Transfer of Prisoners Bill’ to help fight piracy.
The Speaker said “Piracy is now the greatest threat to our sovereignty and to our political stability. The problem will not be solved, unless the world community is sensitized on the importance of bringing political stability in Somalia, and coordinating a tough response both on the political and military fronts against the act of piracy.”
For more details contact:
Ms. Shelda Commettant
PR, Communication & Protocol Officer